Last week, The Great American Outdoors Act (S. 3422) headed to the U.S. House of Representatives after securing passage in the U.S. Senate by a 73-25 vote. The bill has broad bipartisan support, and it was anticipated that the House would vote prior to the July 4 recess under a rule allowing for a vote without debate; however, critics in the House indicated they would oppose the bill if the vote was approached in this manner. Amid this opposition, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D- Maryland) has decided to present the bill for a vote later in July under a rule which allows for debate.
If enacted, The Great American Outdoors Act would fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at $900 million annually and provide $9.5 billion over five years to help clear the National Parks Service’s maintenance backlog. The LWCF was permanently reauthorized in 2019, but for many years it has been severely underfunded.